YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A day ahead of the rally featuring J.D. Vance and former President Donald Trump, his opponent, Congressman Tim Ryan, thinks the event may backfire on the Republican nominee.

“Ohioans don’t want someone who’s gotta rely on somebody else to carry their message for them or to buttress them and support them in some way,” Ryan said.

Although Vance was not available on Friday, his staff sent us a statement, calling Ryan a “complete fraud” and claiming the congressman has voted on every issue with the Biden administration while running campaign ads portraying himself as “exactly the opposite.”

“I know it’s very frustrating because they’re trying to, you know, turn me into somebody that I’m not. That’s their… that’s the only way they can win here,” Ryan said.

But the Republican has also been taking aim at Ryan for recent comments where he was recorded saying voters “need to confront and kill” certain members of the GOP. Ryan defends his remarks.

“We don’t need that kind of extremists in the country, let alone the United States Senate. That’s what I was talking about and I was clear about that and they know that,” Ryan said.

For his part, Ryan claims Vance needs supporters like the former president to be what the congressman is calling Vance’s “rescue squad.”

“He needs Trump, he needs DeSantis. Like, c’mon, man, you’re Ohio, let’s do this, you know? Mano a mano. You gotta bring in all the rescue squad — I’m here on my own,” Ryan said.

With less than two months left in the race, a poll by Emerson College has Vance leading by four points, with 13 percent still undecided.